The most predictable political event of the year has finally occurred: Mitt Romney has formed a presidential exploratory committee, signaling that be will pursue the 2012 Republican nomination.

Here’s the absurd part: Even though he has announced his intentions eight months before the first primary elections, Romney did so barely in time to qualify for the first GOP primary debate, which Fox and the South Carolina Republican Party will host on May 5. This presidential election cycle is starting so early that a man running for president since November 2008 might still miss out on 2012’s opening round, depending on whether he decides to file his paperwork in time.

America has become the Donald Trump of democracies. Our elections are the biggest, classiest, most expensive elections ever. All the extra time and cash spent doesn’t seem to make them that much more substantive. But so many of us watch, anyway.

It’s gonna be huge.